Mega-Whats 2012 Face-off - Semifinal 2


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Mega-Whats 2012 Face-off - Semifinal 2

  1. 1. Mega-Whats 2013 Semifinal 2 Arun Hiregange & Kiran Vijayakumar ?
  2. 2. Written Round - 5 questions - 10 points each; no negatives ?
  3. 3. The idea was partly inspired by the emergency dispatch center in St. Louis according to its creator. A speech impediment as a child kept him at home a lot, where he would play on a computer and listen to the police scanner. He found himself fascinated by the short bursts of talking used by law enforcement and emergency personnel, ―They‘re always talking about where they‘re going, what they‘re doing and where they currently are.‖ Who or what idea? 1
  4. 4. Jack Drosey. Twitter.1
  5. 5. The 1527 poem Scacchia, Ludus by Marco Girolamo Vida give a mythical origin for it. In the poem, Caïssa initially repels the advances of Mars. Spurned, Mars seeks the aid of Euphron, brother of Venus, who creates it as a gift for Mars to win Caïssa's favour. ―Of armies on the chequer'd field array'd, And guiltless war in pleasing form display'd; When two bold kings contend with vain alarms, In ivory this, and that in ebon arms; Sing, sportive maids, that haunt the sacred hill Of Pindus, and the fam'd Pierian rill.‖ What did Euphron create? 2
  6. 6. Chess. Caïssa is referred to in chess commentary. Garry Kasparov uses this reference repeatedly in his epic five-volume work My Great Predecessors. It is used as a substitute for being fortunate – "Caïssa was with me" – especially in unclear situations, for example in sacrifices. 2
  7. 7. What was the man‘s response? 3
  8. 8. Xanthippe pouring water over Socrates. He‘s supposed to have replied ―After thunder comes rain.‖ 3
  9. 9. Jemaa el-Fna is the main square and market place in Marrakesh. It is known for its active concentration of traditional activities by storytellers, musicians, dancers and peddlers of traditional medicines. At night, it fills with dozens of food-stalls. It features in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and the No Quarter – Unledded videos. In the early 2000s, it was threatened by economic development pressures; but the locals gathered together for its protection. What did this movement inspire at an international level? 4 
  10. 10. 4
  11. 11. Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity which paved way for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2008. 4
  12. 12. The Dreadnought hoax was a practical joke pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910 to trick the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the warship HMS Dreadnought, to a supposed delegation of Abyssinian royals. It drew attention to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group. Each time the Commander showed them a marvel of the ship, they murmured the phrase ―____‖. This became a popular catchphrase for a time. It caught the world‘s attention again around 2010 under scandalous circumstances. Actress Sabina Began claimed that it was her nickname and the origin of the phrase. What phrase? 5 
  13. 13. 5
  14. 14. Bunga, Bunga!5
  15. 15. Clockwise - 18 questions - +10 / -5 on the pounce - +10 on the pass ?
  16. 16. Lt. Alexis Helmer was an officer in the 2nd Battery, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. He was killed in action during the Second Battle of Ypres on May 2, 1915. In the absence of the chaplain, his friend (and unit physician) conducted a simple service at the graveside, reciting from memory some passages from Order of Burial of the Dead. His friend became famous for something he did, possibly inspired by the burial ground and its surroundings. Who and what inspiration? 1 
  17. 17. 1
  18. 18. The poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. 1
  19. 19. From a recent column by Jai Arjun Singh: ‗In fact, the very first scene in Bombay Talkies – in the short film directed by Karan Johar – has a young man angrily confronting his intolerant father who can‘t accept, or perhaps even comprehend, that his son is gay. (The film‘s title ―____‖ comes from one of the great Hindi-film songs, a rendition of which is beautifully used here, but it can also at a stretch be translated as ―This is a queer tale‖.)‘ Identify this classic 1960 song. 2
  20. 20. Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh (from the movie Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai). 2
  21. 21. In 1996, Konrad Maurer and his colleagues rediscovered the medical record of this person. The examination record (translated) from 1901 follows. What is this person‘s claim to fame or the significance of this particular case? 3 
  22. 22. "What is your name?" "Auguste." "Family name?" "Auguste." "What is your husband's name?" – She hesitates, finally answers: "I believe ... Auguste." "Your husband?" "Oh, so!" "How old are you?" "Fifty-one." "Where do you live?" 3 "Oh, you have been to our place" "Are you married?" "Oh, I am so confused." "Where are you right now?" "Here and everywhere, here and now, you must not think badly of me." "Where are you at the moment?" "This is where I will live." "Where is your bed?" "Where should it be?"
  23. 23. Auguste Deter, the first recorded diagnosis of Alzheimer‘s disease by Alois Alzheimer. 3
  24. 24. Ardeshir Godrej, a pioneer locksmith, took seed funding of Rs. 3000 from Merwanji Cama, a friend of his father‘s in 1895. His lock-making business prospered and he visited Cama again in 1910, to repay the loan. Cama was ill and refused to accept it since accepting the money would deprive him of the joy he felt in having contributed to Ardeshir‘s success. Cama did however have a favor to ask: would Ardeshir hire Cama‘s nephew? Ardeshir readily agreed. Identify the nephew. 4
  25. 25. Boyce whom Ardreshir made a partner and renamed the company as Godrej and Boyce. 4
  26. 26. In 1919, two drama troupes were camped at Amaravati. Both were playing dramas based on the theme of disrobement of Draupadi. X was in Draupadi‘s role in his troupe and Y in the role of Aatmateja in his troupe. The rasikas watched both plays and wondered who was the greater of the two. Dadasaheb Khaparde, the uncrowned king of Varhaad and a connoisseur par excellence, was absorbed in watching the role of Aatmateja. He exclaimed, ―Hey tur ____ ____ aahet!‖. Identify X and Y. 5
  27. 27. Bal Gandharva and Sawai Gandharva. Sawai in Marathi means ‗a notch above the rest‘. The literal meaning is ‗one and a quarter‘, i.e., ―If that is Bal Gandharva, this is Sawai Gandharva.‖ 5
  28. 28. The lyrics of this 1976 Bob Marley song is based on a unique event that happened on 6 October, 1963. One could even say that someone else has to get the rightful credits for the lyrics. Identify the event. <Video removed> 6
  29. 29. It is a translation of the address made in Amharic by Haile Selassie to the General Assembly of the United Nations. 6
  30. 30. According to the Greek writer Athenaeus of Naucratis, King Hiero II commissioned a huge ship, the Syracusia, which could be used for luxury travel, carrying supplies, and as a naval warship. The Syracusia is said to have been the largest ship built in classical antiquity. It was capable of carrying 600 people and included garden decorations, a gymnasium and a temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite among its facilities. A ship of this size leaked a considerable amount of water through the hull. How did they overcome the problem? 7
  31. 31. Archimedes‘ screw was purportedly developed in order to remove the bilge water. He designed the ship too. 7
  32. 32. The Boot Monument, in the Saratoga National Historical Park in New York, is the only war memorial in America that does not carry the name of its honoree. The dedication on it reads, ―Erected 1887 By John Watts de Peyster Brev: Maj: Gen: S.N.Y.2nd V. Pres't Saratoga Mon't Ass't'n: In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of Borgoynes Great Western Redoubt 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.‖ Who is it dedicated to? 8 
  33. 33. 8
  34. 34. Benedict Arnold. He is not mentioned by name on the monument because several years later the wounded Arnold turned traitor to the United States and joined with the British and their Loyalists. 8
  35. 35. Radio and television stations have emergency backup systems designed to switch on and play when they detect malfunctions of a certain kind. On January 16, 2004, at the Barbican Centre in London, the BBC technicians deliberately switched off the backup systems during a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This was the very first time such a step was taken since the inception of the system. What was happening for the first time that prompted this? 9
  36. 36. The BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the first orchestral performance of John Cage's 4'33". The emergency backup systems are designed to switch on and play music whenever apparent silence (dead air) lasting longer than a preset duration is detected. 9
  37. 37. In 1972, he was hired by The Sunday Times Magazine as an adviser on art and architecture based on his prior work at Sotheby's. He interviewed the 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of an area which she had painted. "I've always wanted to go there," he told her. "So have I," she replied, "go there for me." In December 1974, when he arrived there he severed himself from the newspaper with a telegram: "Have gone to ____.― His acclaimed work based on the experience was published in 1977. One of the first high-profile people in Britain to have died of AIDS, Salman Rushdie was attending his memorial service on the day the fatwa was announced on him. Identify him. Also identify the place where a famous 16th century visitor noticed that the average height of the people was about 180 cm (~5′11″) compared to the 155 cm (~5′1″) of his countrymen. 10
  38. 38. Bruce Chatwin. Patagnoia. The name Patagonia comes from the word ―patagón‖ used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. 10
  39. 39. It originally consisted of fifty members which were later reduced to twelve by Sophocles, then increased to fifteen members by Euripides in tragedies. There were twenty-four members in comedies. In Aeschylus‘ Agamemnon, it comprises the elderly men of Argos, whereas in Euripides‘ The Bacchae, they are a group of eastern bacchants, and in Sophocles‘ Electra, it is made up of the women of Argos. What are we talking about? 11
  40. 40. Chorus. (Greek chorus, to be specific.)11
  41. 41. Connect.12
  42. 42. View from the Window at Le Grasby by Nicéphore Niépce, the oldest surviving camera photograph. 12
  43. 43. According to an apocryphal story, this person was noted for false modesty in scientific circles. A rival named a new unit for the quantitative measure of conceit after him. According to him (who supposedly narrated this to the former), one ____ was an exceedingly large amount of conceit; for most purposes, the practical unit was to be one-thousandth of ____. Identify the unit or tell us the after whom it was named. 13
  44. 44. Kan (after Robert Millikan).13
  45. 45. It originally referred to an Italian confectionery. Also called dragée, these were almonds (later coriander) with a hard sugar coating. The tradition is to give them out at weddings – they are said to represent the hope that the new couple will have a fertile marriage. The British adopted the name for a replacement in such functions and it entered the English language. The Italian word for the English equivalent is coriandoli which refers to the coriander seeds contained within them. What word? 14
  46. 46. Confetti.14
  47. 47. Stephen Fried recently apologized (―to all users of language for my crime against nomenclature‖) for coining it in his 1993 biography Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia: ―Twenty years ago, I apparently changed language forever. I published a book that unleashed upon an unsuspecting public a single word of terrifying power and controversy. That word is ____ [...] Since I was re-reading a lot of the newspapers and magazines from the period of Gia‘s supernova career in the late ‗70s and early ‗80s, and remembering a lot of coverage of Sandanistas, I just decided to try it.‖ What word? 15
  48. 48. Fashionista.15
  49. 49. Connect. <Videos removed> 16
  50. 50. Combat. The trade name of the Aluminium bat used by Dennis Lillee was ComBat. The game played by the jugglers is called Combat. 16
  51. 51. The stretching of the muscle spindle in the quadriceps produces a signal which travels to the spinal cord and synapses at the level of L4 in the spinal cord, completely independent of higher centres. From there, an alpha-motor neuron conducts an efferent impulse back to the quadriceps femoris muscle, triggering contraction. This contraction is coordinated with the relaxation of the antagonistic flexor hamstring muscle. The resulting proprioception helps maintain posture and balance. What simple term was used for this by Sir Michael Foster in his Textbook of Physiology in 1877? 17
  52. 52. Knee-jerk.17
  53. 53. It is a Thai royal and noble title translated as ―Grand Duke―. It is the most senior rank commonly granted and is normally bestowed upon commoners who served as Ministers of State. The title has been awarded to at least one foreigner: ____ Abhai Raja (Gustave Henri Ange Hippolyte Rolin-Jaequemyns, a Belgian attorney at law, diplomat who served as an advisor to King Rama V). The same name was applied to another entity where it was used to signify its importance. What? 18
  54. 54. Chao Phraya (also a major river in Thailand). 18
  55. 55. Anti-clockwise - 18 questions - +10 / -5 on the pounce - +10 on the pass ?
  56. 56. Though Tasman and Cook had sighted them earlier and even landed on some of the outer islands, which is considered the first European craft to properly pass through the Fiji islands? They did not dare stop at the islands though, for fear of coming across cannibals. 1 
  57. 57. 1
  58. 58. Captain Bligh‘s boat after being set adrift (NOT the Bounty itself)
  59. 59. Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford _______ was Air C-in-C of the Allied invasion of Normandy. Later, in Nov 1944, en route to Ceylon to take up the post of Air C-in-C South East Asia, his plane crashed in the Alps, making him the most senior RAF officer killed in WW2. One would expect his elder brother, a schoolmaster who died in 1924, to be less well-known but it is he whom we remember as a modern-day hero. Identify this brother, who re-entered public consciousness in a sensational way again in 1999, through a discovery in the Indian sub-continent. 2
  60. 60. George Mallory (who for many years had been to higher altitudes than his pilot brother)
  61. 61. July 30th 1993, at 20:40, the hands of the two people touched under the runway of a city’s airport. There was a brief hug to celebrate and then it was back to work. In code it was known as D-B after Dobrinja and Butmir. People laughed at that because those letters were the same as the ones used for the secret service in the old Yugoslavia. For the people of the city, it remains a symbol of courage and survival. For others it was a place of torture. There are no road signs to it, but it receives countless visits, it's searched for, found, looked at and admired. What is it? 3
  62. 62. Tunnel to connect the cut-off city of Sarajevo to its airport in a UN-controlled area
  63. 63. Fill in the blanks to get the title of the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story that starts off by describing a rather unremarkable boy: Jo Powell was a _____. Much as I desire to make him an appealing character, I feel that it would be unscrupulous to deceive you on that point. He was a bred-in-the-bone, dyed-in-the-wool, ninety-nine three-quarters per cent _____ and he grew lazily all during _____ season, which is every season, down in the land of the _____ well below the Mason-Dixon line. 4 
  64. 64. The same term is used in the semiconductor industry in a similar vein, a ―_____" component is one which is widely available, used generically in many applications, and has no very unusual characteristics—as though it might be grabbed out of a jar in handfuls when needed, like _____. 4
  65. 65. Jellybean
  66. 66. 5 
  67. 67. The name of this game translates to ―coconut snatching‖. If you idly wonder if the second word in its name shows that it is derived from rugby, you will be reminded that it is much much older than that recently-invented sport. Identify this game, and secondly, it is said to have started as a ceremonial enactment of which incident from mythology? 5
  68. 68. Yubi lakpi The devas & asuras playing rugby with the pot of amrit
  69. 69. These are the first lines of a poem written in 1959. It was written to express the poet‘s disappointment on hearing views like ―this man went and spat in the face of the people‖, ―[a pig] never shits where it eats― etc. expressed about his achievement. What is this poem titled? Like a beast in a pen, I'm cut off From my friends, freedom, the sun, But the hunters are gaining ground. I've nowhere else to run. Dark wood and the bank of a pond, Trunk of a fallen tree. There's no way forward, no way back. 6 
  70. 70. It's all up with me. Am I a gangster or murderer? Of what crime do I stand Condemned? I made the whole world weep At the beauty of my land….. Even so, one step from my grave, I believe that cruelty, spite, The powers of darkness will in time Be crushed by the spirit of light. 6
  71. 71. Boris Pasternak‘s poem Nobel Prize
  72. 72. Murali Vijay scored a double century on the first day of Tamil Nadu‘s Nov 2008 Ranji match against Maharashtra. By the fourth and final day, the match was heading for a tepid draw. What did he do on that day? 7
  73. 73. Made his Test debut Replacing Gautam Gambhir who had been given a one-match ban
  74. 74. On Sunday 21 April 2013, three ultra low- cost satellites rode into space and were launched on the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. They were part of an experiment to see if a consumer-grade ______ can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space. They took pictures of the earth and transmitted them as data packets to NASA ground stations. The three satellites were named after the person who created the first generation of these objects in the second half of the 19th century. What were these three names? 8
  75. 75. Alexander, Graham, Bell They were smartphones
  76. 76. Born Francesco della Rovere, he joined the Francescan Order as a young man and sharpened his intellectual qualities, rising to the top of the order in 1464. He was elected Pope in 1471, apparently a big factor being his unworldliness. He continued the system of slavery and nepotism that earlier popes followed. In 1478 he issued a papal bull through which the Spanish Inquisition was established in Castile. Diary records of the day noted that he was a "lover of boys and sodomites‖. He built the first new bridge across the Tiber since antiquity. But what is it that we all remember him for to this day? 9
  77. 77. Brazil nut fruit
  78. 78. Connect. <Videos removed> 10
  79. 79. The cake on the cover of Let It Bleed was baked by the then unknown Delia Smith, who is a majority owner of Norwich FC
  80. 80. Holger Brandt, a famous virtuoso violinist, meets Anita Hoffman, his daughter's piano instructor, during a trip home. A passionate relationship ensues. Holger's wife asks him for a divorce. Torn with guilt for breaking up this family, Anita decides to pursue her own career and leaves Holger. And he returns home to see his children again. After some melodrama including an accident to their daughter, his wife forgives Holger and welcomes him back into his family. This is the plotline of a movie that was made on both sides of the Atlantic, with the same star in both. The title refers to a composition which fits between other musical or dramatic entities, such as acts of a play or movements of a larger musical work. Name? 11
  81. 81. The struggle between the East and West coast of USA for cultural, academic, scientific, and economic supremacy now has a new feature, as the East Coast prepares to compete with the West Coast for the lucrative shipping lines coming from Asia. What in-progress development, costing $5 billion, is expected to tip the current balance of power? 12
  82. 82. The expansion of the Panama Canal will allow post-Panamax ships through directly to the East coast
  83. 83. Oxygen can be generated from water using electrolysis. The hydrogen produced is discarded. As O2 is consumed, CO2 is produced which must be removed from the air and discarded as well. This approach requires copious amounts of water. So the reaction below, which can recover water from the exhaled CO2, held promise as it forms a more closed cycle. A machine was supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand and installed in Apr 2010 at a specific location under a novel contract based on the amount of water it actually produces. The reaction is named after a French organic chemist who shared the 1912 Nobel prize for work in catalytic organic synthesis. Name him and where the machine was installed. 2H2O → O2 + 2H2 → (respiration) → CO2 + 2H2 + 2H2 (added) → 2H2O + CH4 (discarded) 13
  84. 84. Sabatier reaction ISS
  85. 85. About 16km south of Buxar, this town on the UP/Bihar border was the site of Sher Shah Suri‘s victory over Humayun in 1539. That‘s reason enough to know its name, but legend also has it that Sher Shah named his favourite variety of a particular fruit to commemorate this victory. The variety is still very popular as an export to Europe & USA. Place/fruit? 14
  86. 86. Chausa
  87. 87. Immanuel Kant used the name of an ancient mythological figure to coin a phrase to refer to a contemporary scientist of his time. The phrase was apt, because the scientist was seen to have aided the human cause in the very way the mythological figure had. A few decades later, a writer used the same phrase while coming up with the title for a novel. There has been much speculation over the similarity between the names of the scientist and the novel‘s protagonist. Identify both of them. 15
  88. 88. Benjamin Franklin Frankenstein
  89. 89. These are translations from Sanskrit of some verses of prayer. What are they collectively called and what are they said to exhaustively comprise? Victory to the singing of the names of Krishna, Which cleans the dirt from the mirror of the heart, Which puts out the fire of the pain of day today life, Which spreads the cooling rays of moon everywhere, Which is the knowledge accumulated by the holy, Which increases the sea of happiness for ever, Which makes us taste , fully the divine nectar, And which is eagerly desired by all beings. You have several millions of names, Which can give real strength to all beings, And you do not have any rules to chant them, And this shows me that you are merciful towards me, But I being unfortunate am not attracted by them. 16 
  90. 90. We should constantly sing the names of Hari, With more humility than a dried grass, With more tolerance than a tree, And with a mind without false prestige. I do not wish for wealth or followers, I do not wish for pretty women, Oh Lord of the entire universe, But I want to dedicate this life, And all life after it is in your service. I am your slave, Oh son of Nanda, But fallen deep in this sea of birth and death, So please pick me up from here, And make me in to a dust of, Your lotus like feet. 16 When will tears fall form my eyes, When will my face choke up, And when will my hairs stand erect, When I hear the recitation of your names. When I am not with you Govinda, Every minute appears like an age, My eyes shed tears like rain, And the entire world appears empty. My soul will be with him without condition, Even if he chides me with dirty words, Even if he breaks my heart by not being with me, And do as he likes anything and everything.
  91. 91. Shikshashtaka (teachings in eight parts) The only verses left that were written by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
  92. 92. Name the apparatus. <Video removed> 17
  93. 93. Tesla‘s Egg of Columbus
  94. 94. In monthly flag meetings between China and India at the Nathu La border, the Chinese set aside a chair for this member of the Punjab Regiment. Taxi drivers and soldiers passing through the area generally stop to pay their respects to him. The Indian army has awarded him promotions regularly. He is now a Captain. He is given annual leave to go home (Kuka village in Kapurthala district) on Sept 16th every year, accompanied by two soldiers from the Sikkim border. They travel with him by train to Jalandhar, where an Army vehicle picks him up. Name him and what is unusual about all this? 18